IS 'Moles' as Refugees, Malik's Violent Jihad on Social Sites

Editor’s Note – As each day goes by since the December 2nd terror event in San Bernardino, California, the plot thickens and expands. The connections become more complicated and the fears that terrorists can get into America so easily has most frightened despite the President’s assurances. Of course, we think he is delusional, as is John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.

Say what you will about Donald Trump regarding a temporary ban on Muslims being allowed to enter the country, we are now seeing that our Homeland Security and State Departments have dropped the ball frequently. In fact, the NY Times reported today that they missed obvious issues with Tashfeen Malik when she was allowed to enter under a K1 fiance visa:

Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan. But none uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide — that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.

… Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country. But immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so.

How confidant are you that those being brought in will not include ISIS “moles”? How about the knowledge that Canada just admitted its first contingent of Syrian refugees yesterday with our very open northern border?

With such political correctness controlling decision makers in the DHS who are more worried about “appropriateness” than your safety, we think it is time to worry more, not less. We wonder what the pond in San Bernardino will reveal and what will arise from the fact that Enrique Martinez bragged to his friends about ‘sleeper cells’ and that he was paid to be in a sham marriage.

Islamic State Manifesto: Sleeper Cells Sent To Europe Posing As Refugees

By John Rossomando – IPT News

The Islamic State claims it sent highly trained sleeper agents to Europe through Turkey posing as refugees as far back as 2012. A 99-page manifesto issued in January, “Black Flags from Rome,” also details the Islamic State (ISIS)’s desire to spark a Europe-wide Islamic insurgency using “Muslim No Go Zones” as bases of operations.

Syrian refugees check their baggage at the beginning of an airlift to Canada, at the Beirut International airport December 10, 2015 in a photo provided by the Canadian military. REUTERS/Corporal Darcy Lefebvre/Canadian Forces Combat Camera/Handout via Reuters
Syrian refugees check their baggage at the beginning of an airlift to Canada, at the Beirut International airport December 10, 2015 in a photo provided by the Canadian military. REUTERS/Corporal Darcy Lefebvre/Canadian Forces Combat Camera/Handout via Reuters

As an example, it claims that some Syrian refugees fled to Italy. “No doubt, some of these refugees were undercover fighters of Al Qa’idah and the Islamic State,” the manifesto says.

“They were quick to take the opportunity of entering into the different countries of Europe (most probably as early as 2012).

All this was happening under the nose of the European intelligence services whose job during this time (2012) was only to prevent European Muslims from entering Syria. (This shows how quick the Islamic groups were in planning ahead.

Years before Europe even knew where its Muslim citizens were going – experienced Islamic fighters had already found safety in Europe.)”

These highly trained fighters were instructed to form secret cells and wait until called on by the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. At that time they would “continue the Jihad and … seek revenge for the Western occupation of Muslim lands.

“Black Flags From Rome” claims the sleeper agents were well-trained in urban combat tactics similar to this month’s Paris attacks. It proudly contrasts past Al-Qaida’s terrorists with its fighters, whom it describes as “untrained” and “vulnerable,” noting that Western intelligence agencies never faced professionally trained fighters with combat experience.”

“These young Europeans had been professionally trained, and given training most specific to the context of the war they would battle within Europe,” the manifesto says.

ISIS training included instruction on buying and firing weapons and making improvised explosives. Such training could explain the sophistication of the Paris attacks and the attackers’ competence in making suicide vests, which experts say takes weeks of training.

“Their locations were unknown, and police raids wouldn’t even have the same impact as unarmed lone wolf terrorists’ (sic), because these young men were armed and able to shoot back in groups. There were small armies of the Islamic State within every country of Europe by late 2014, and the intelligence agencies didn’t even know about it!” the manifesto says.

ISIS propagandists based in Syria were quick to take responsibility for the attacks. An updated edition titled “Black Flags From the Islamic State,” written in the past week,calls them “one of the first organised attacks done by the Islamic State in Europe which involved a Network of Cells working together in an organized way.”

Police described the Paris attackers as “seasoned fighters by the looks of it and perfectly trained, with witnesses describing them as quite young and cool-headed,” the London Daily Telegraph reports.

Furthermore, during the attacks, a mid-level Syrian Islamic State leader known as @Jazrawi_Oooud tweeted during the attacks: “… Syrian refugees sent by Islamic state carried out today’s offensive names battle of Paris. More to come.”

This statement came out a day before the media or French authorities mentioned any possibility that people who might have infiltrated the wave of refugees from Syria could have been responsible for the attacks. A fake Syrian passport bearing the name “Ahmad alMohammad” was found next to a suicide bomber who blew himself up at the soccer stadium. Two other stadium bombers arrived on Oct. 3, blending in with scores of refugees on the Greek island of Leros.

Several of the Paris attackers fought for ISIS in Syria and their leader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, freely traveled to and from Europe. The Islamic State claims it selected Abaaoud to lead the mission and trained him in insurgency skills before sending him to France to create clandestine cells with the aim of starting a jihad in France. Abaaoud hid among the flow of refugees from Syria, and travelled to Turkey and Greece before making his way to France, according to “Black Flags From the Islamic State.”

 ISIS map claims to depict plans to "surround and capture Europe"

ISIS map claims to depict plans to “surround and capture Europe”

If what “Black Flags From Rome” and “Black Flags From the Islamic State” say is true, it could influence subsequent debate over the flood of refugees from Syria and Iraq into Europe and possibly America.

It could mean that the attacks in Paris weren’t just a sign of a wounded Islamic State lashing out at Europe in retaliation for lost territory in Iraq as some suggest.

The Black Flag manifestos, and a third called “How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid’s Guide,” all show a greater strategy to import the group’s jihad to Europe.

“Once the media attention dies down, the Islamic State will tell another “sleeper Cell” (secret Cell which has not yet activated) to do another attack again,” Black Flags From the Islamic State says..

Rome’s Apocalyptic Prophecy

The manifesto’s title, “Black Flags From Rome,” draws from the Islamic State’s apocalyptic theology. Islamic prophecy states that Rome will be conquered by Muslims before the appearance of Islam’s Antichrist, the dajjal, appears. ISIS hopes to help that along.

In a hadith found in Sahih Muslim, Muhammad says:

“You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack Persia and He would make you to conquer it. Then you would attack Rome and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack the Dajjal and Allah will enable you to conquer him. Nafi’ said: Jabir, we thought that the Dajjal would appear after Rome (Syrian territory) would be conquered.”

The Islamic State, however, interprets this hadith as referring to Rome, Italy, rather than a region controlled by the Roman Empire in Muhammad’s day.

The dream of conquering Rome appears in other Islamic State propaganda such as issue four of, which shows an Islamic State flag fluttering atop the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square.

“We have to defend our communities in Europe, and buy time for the Armageddon in Syria to finish and for the Roman invaders to be defeated. The day these Roman (NATO) armies set off with their 960,000 soldiers to fight the Muslims in Dabiq (Syria), they should realise half the prophecy has already come into effect. The 2nd half of the prophecy is that they will lose, and Muslims will take over Rome … The next stop? The Anti-Christ (al-Dajjal) in Israel,” a subsequent manifesto published in July, “Muslim Gangs: The Future of Muslims In The West,” states.

Both “Muslim Gangs” and “Black Flags” urge exploiting anti-Muslim sentiment to radicalize European Muslims to build an army to fulfill this prophecy. The authors of “Muslim Gangs” advise using propaganda to unite Muslims around local humanitarian efforts.1272

“The Propaganda Arm is using soft power techniques to build a united Muslim community which appreciates self-defence, a community which can support fellow believers in (future) times of difficulty and war,” “Muslim Gangs” advises.

It urges Islamic propagandists to claim that aspects of Islam are being criminalized, and to frame police as enemies of the Muslims. This, it says, helps to build a sense of alienation:

“Tell them stories of how we feel unsafe and how they make it a crime for us to morally support Muslims around the world, and they do not even let us leave the West if we want to. Tell them that they should not talk openly with the police, or else they could be taken away from their parents. These are realities Muslims face everyday, we need to make them aware. “This will make the young generation stay distant from the police. They will hate it. The police will try to come to their schools to win their hearts and minds, but tell the kids: ‘Who do you trust more? Your fellow Muslim brothers, or the ones who imprison Muslims?'”

It urges establishing “no-go zones” and creating a culture of hostility to the police where lawlessness reigns and the jihadists can flourish.

“Al Qa’idah, the Islamic State and many Mujahideen groups thrived in areas where there was lawlessness because they could buy smuggled goods from the blackmarket and train without fear of police. If police did come, the people in the area would inform everyone because this was a no-go zone for the police,” “Muslim Gangs” states.

Abaaoud and his fellow Paris attackers used such a place in the Brussels, Belgium suburb of Molenbeek, which has been the source of the highest concentrations of jihadi foreign fighters who have left to fight in Iraq and Syria. Belgian authorities admit they have lost control of the suburb.

Other tactics include aligning with left-wing activists to fight neo-Nazis and using them to do undercover work for Muslims to “pave the way for the conquest of Rome.” It suggests that Muslims can use leftists to fight and sabotage the “financial elite.”

“War: right now you can do lone wolf attacks, but the West is not fertile for a full on war yet. Rather, the increasing amount of attacks from both sides will gradually create a state of war,” “Muslim Gangs” states.

White Muslim converts are seen as the Islamic State’s “secret weapon” because they can blend in more easily.

Additionally, the Islamic State wants followers to infiltrate gangs to learn how they operate, then develop into larger militias by using fear as a tactic to intimidate enemies and inspire recruits, which observers call “jihadi cool.”

“Black Flags” suggests using mosques as operating bases and exploiting attacks by neo-Nazi groups. It predicts that Muslims and neo-Nazis will launch reprisals against each other.

Early stages of the proposed Islamic insurgency would use primitive weapons like Molotov cocktails, pellet guns and slingshots against neo-Nazi gangs. It suggests copying tactics used during the early stages of Syria’s civil war, such as making attacks using homemade weapons and capturing more advanced weapons.

Recruits are obtained by “showing the glamorous nature of Jihad” and emphasizing great spiritual rewards for those who engage in jihadi attacks. Video recordings of“spectacular attacks” can put potential recruits in awe of jihad, “Muslim Gangs” says. It also suggests using such recordings to fundraise among Muslims who “might be willing to donate” to defending Muslim neighborhoods.

In the process, “Black Flags” suggests forming militias that would take over buildings, roads and weapons depots.

“As the Islamic militias begin to arm themselves and train each other, they will be able to fight more battles … This will make them even richer and more financially independent, buy even more advanced weaponry from the black market and cause even more damage to the enemies,” “Black Flags” says.

Muslim gangs are urged to fight to seize territory outside Muslim neighborhoods and build alliances with other gangs with the goal of creating a large army.

“Muslim fighters from all European countries will continue the fight, breaking borders until they can reach; Northern Rome,” “Black Flags” says.

Jihad in America – Cells Already Here, Training Camps

By Denise Simon and Scott W. Winchell

With the surge of terror across the globe and here at home, especially after the Paris “Charlie Hebdos” attack and the kosher market massacre, everyone keeps asking, are they coming or are they already here?

They are here!

In fact, just today an Ohio man, Christopher Lee Cornell (Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah) was arrested by the FBI and was reportedly influenced by the same man who influenced the Kouachi brothers, Anwar al Awlaki and that Cornell also may have known the brothers from online networks:

The FBI has arrested an Ohio man for allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off a series of bombs aimed at lawmakers, whom he allegedly considered enemies.

Christopher Lee Cornell -– also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah -– was arrested earlier today on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official.

Arrest caught on a screen shot - courtesy Heavy.com
Arrest caught on a screen shot – courtesy Heavy.com

Further investigation revealed his intent to attack the U.S. Capitol, and he planned to detonate pipe bombs there and open fire on any employees and officials after the bombs went off, according to government documents.

The FBI and Department of Homeland security issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the country, notifying them of the case.

“The alleged activities of Cornell highlight the continued interest of US-based violent extremists to support designated foreign terrorist organizations overseas, such as ISIL, by committing terrorist acts in the United States,” the bulletin read. “Terrorist group members and supporters will almost certainly continue to use social media platforms to disseminate English language violent extremist messages.”

See the release at Heavy.com and other documents.

Just this past week, even Diane Feinstein, D-CA, the former Chairwoman, and now the Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said they are. She should know, and and so should the White House. Here is what she said:

“I think there are sleeper cells not only in France but certainly in other countries and, yes, in our own,” she told CNN. “This calls for vigilance. … Hopefully, we can be more active in terms of doing those things which enable us to find terrorists, see who they’re communicating with and to track that.”

With the Caliphate now formed in the Levant, better known as the Islamic State (Also ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) the spread of the threat has expanded and it appears the cell in Paris had roots to Yemen and Syria. In fact, AQAP release a new video today claiming responsibility and that it was years in the making the same day the newest edition of “Charlie Hebdos” hit the news stands. (Sheikh Nasr Ben Ali al-Aanesi spoke on the video.)

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The lure appears to be working well for the master marketing team of al Qaeda and Daesh and the latest word of warning has been sent by officials that more cells may have been activated. We may not immediately because patience has been one of their calling cards but it appears likely that it will be sooner than later here.

Sheikh Nasr Ben Ali al-Aanesi
Sheikh Nasr Ben Ali al-Aanesi

With the Fort Hood Massacre, the Oklahoma Beheading, the Attacks in Canada, the Hatchet Attack in New York, and now the convert in Ohio, we are in a new era and we all had better keep alert.

But we ask, what has been done to secure us to date, especially since we have known about them for years and years right here at home besides this Ohio Muslim convert?

Many cases and studies have been done by those who were aware long ago of the rise of sleeper cells and training camps.

The FBI introduction to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) file on Clarence Smith—aka Clarence 13X—reads only, “Smith was the leader of the ‘Five Percenters,’ a notorious Harlem street gang. He was shot to death in 1969” [1].

Yet, as a lyrical sample from Lord Jamar (a prominent Five Percenter and hip-hop artist) reads in his Greatest Story Never Told, “Allah [Clarence Smith] was assassinated in 1969, that case was never solved. His movement survived him, today it’s known as the Nation of Gods and Earths” [2].

The Five Percenters are just one facet of indigenous Muslim evolution in the United States; others, like Jama`at al-Fuqara’, retain ties to Pakistan and are ideological affiliates of militant Salafist groups such as al-Qa`ida.

This article will examine trends among three predominantly African-American Islamic movements, at least one of which should be considered a domestic terrorism concern for the United States. It also serves to provide counter-terrorism professionals with knowledge enabling them to differentiate terrorist threats from more benign religious groups.

Heffelfinger  illustrates further where some of these groups are and the threat they have “today,” as in 2008, so imagine how much worse it is today:

Critical for intelligence and law enforcement officials is the ability to distinguish non-violent, pietistic or spiritualist movements from Salafist-inspired ones that advocate or practice militancy. Today, the Five Percent Nation is largely leaderless, with various teachers propagating the beliefs of Clarence 13X and poses no serious terrorist threat, although gang activity and criminality is a concern.Islamberg-NY-sign

The Seas of David will, in all likelihood, dissipate and pose no further threat. Such movements, however, may serve at times as a gateway to more conservative—sometimes militant—Salafist groups, such as Jama`at al-Fuqara’.

The Jama`at al-Fuqara’/Muslims of America deserves a more comprehensive treatment, as the group is clearly one of the most glaring domestic terrorism concerns for the United States.(Read more here, it is extensive and worth the read. Our emphasis added.)

Heffelfinger was not the only one by a long shot. As late as 2012 an article in Law Enforcement Today entitled “Informant: Islamic Compounds in America are Training for Jihad” was posted by Martin Mawyer. His introduction speaks volumes:

In Hancock, NY an Islamic community that sits on 80 acres of land has decided to form its own government.  They call their community: The Town of Islamberg.  They have their own mayor, deputy mayor and five town council members.  None of them are elected, of course.

They even boast that their “town” provides departments of education, medical, finance and land development services.

This Islamic compound has truly become a city-state.  Though not recognized as a legitimate township by the City of Hancock, this Islamic community nevertheless enforces its own laws on the “citizens” within its borders.  They do so by using the iron fist of Sharia law.

I interviewed a member of this camp, which sits deep in the Catskills Mountains of upstate New York.  The Islamic group that has established this camp is part a network known as Muslims of the Americas (MOA), which has documented links to Al Qaeda.

MOA has established similar villages in nearly three-dozen locations nationwide, with other prominent camps found in Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, California and Tennessee. (Read more here.)

Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki

Remember, that interview took place in 2012, where are we today in 2015? Even further back in 2007, another article came out entitled “Red House, Va has radical Islamic terrorist training camp” and you can read the commentary with charges and denials by many including Muslims in Virginia. Read more from Eric Stackleback from 2012 on this case and view his interview.

Many of these reports have been published many times, where is the FBI and the White House? In 2012, World Net Daily posted an article entitled “35 Training Camps Now Operating Inside U.S. – Government does nothing to impede expansion of ‘Soldiers of Allah’ network.”

This is not new, but fortunately of late, many more people are discovering the work done over the years.

In the period between 2006 and now, Stand Up America staff has been part of some of these investigations and financing some of the work investigators performed on others like Adnan al Shukrijumah who was operating in Hamilton, Ontario, and who was just recently killed by Pakistani officials.

Ryan Mauro at the Clarion Project and Brigitte Gabriel’s group Act For America have also done extensive work on exposing the many enclaves, training camps and sights of older crimes that may be related to terror.

A Clarion Project investigation has discovered a jihadist enclave in Texas where a deadly shooting took place in 2002. Declassified FBI documents obtained by Clarion confirm the find and show the U.S. government’s concern about its links to terrorism. The investigation was completed with help from ACT! For America Houston.

The enclave belongs to the network of Muslims of the Americas, a radical group linked to a Pakistani militant group called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Its members are devoted followers of Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, an extremist cleric in Pakistan.

Be alert America, “see something, say something” applies at all times.

TerroristCells

 


This article was expanded from a cross-post at the Founders Code

 

Obama – Damage Control After Paris Snub

Editor’s Note – In the historic rally in Paris, the United States was represented by its Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley. When the world’s leaders, like Israel’s Bibi Netyanyahu and up to 40 others do attend openly, the Obama Administration embarrassed our nation by not sending a higher ranked official.

Stand Up America’s sources tell us that French President Hollande had told Netanyahu not to come, but he came anyway. In a video inside the synagogue, it even appeared that Netahyahu and Hollande, sitting together were chatting and Hollande abruptly got up and left. But there was no Secretary of State John Kerry, he was too busy in India at “Climate’ conference.

Netanyahu spoke eloquently at the event in clear French and was roundly cheered. Yet, no Obama.

There was no President Obama, or Vice President Biden – why? Was the football schedule more important? Obama’s schedule indicated the day was cleared, why? But Attorney General Eric Holder already there – why didn’t he attend?

World Leaders walk arm-in-arm in solidarity in France.
World Leaders walk arm-in-arm in solidarity in France.

Our sources tell that Eric Holder was basically told to take a hike because all he was talking about at the security meetings already underway was not “stereo-typing.” Can we be certain he left because he was no longer welcome and that prompted the White House to send no one, we may never know, but what is for certain is that the White House is now admitting it should have sent someone more prominent.

France is our oldest and one of dearest allies – what was the real reason Obama spurned the French? Today, a lot of walking backwards, stuttering, and damage control is clearly underway.

We are embarrassed! Our sources also tell us that Obama never intended on going anyway, he never consulted the Secret Service on doing so. But assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland did attend and marched, the Obama administration pointed out! Embarrassing!

The damage control may not be strong enough to fix this rift, or our ever weakening world reputation even as the French attempted to downplay it as well.

White House: ‘We should have sent someone with a higher profile’

Damage control after Obama skips unity rally in Paris

By Eric Bradner, CNN

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s administration admitted it erred by failing to send a higher-ranking representative of the United States to the Paris unity march on Sunday.

“I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday afternoon.

He said Obama himself would have liked to attend the march “had the circumstances been a little different.” But planning began Friday night, 36 hours before the event began, and there wasn’t enough time for the “onerous and significant” security work that needed to take place ahead of a presidential visit, Earnest said. He said Obama’s presence also would have meant extra restrictions on the people who were there.

Je Suis Charlie
Je Suis Charlie

“That said, there is no doubt that the American people and this administration stand foursquare behind our allies in France as they face down this threat,” he said. “And that was evident throughout last week.”

More than 40 world leaders, including the British, German and Israeli heads of state and Russia’s foreign minister, joined at least 1.5 million people on the Paris streets Sunday for a unity march that became France’s biggest-ever public demonstration.

But Obama and his administration’s top hands were nowhere to be found — an absence that triggered complaints that he missed a key leadership opportunity.

The United States appeared to have options to send to the march: Obama spent Sunday at the White House with no public events on his schedule. Vice President Joe Biden was at home in Delaware for the weekend, also with a blank public schedule. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder was already in Paris for security meetings — and even recorded interviews with several U.S. Sunday morning programs — but he didn’t attend the march.

A Secret Service official said the agency was not asked to draw up security plans for a potential presidential trip to Paris in advance of Sunday’s march.

“We weren’t asked or notified about a trip,” the official said. But the agency had Secret Service agents on the ground in Paris, per its standard operating procedure.

B6vyjOPIIAA-4SO-446x413“It would have been a challenging advance … based on what we know,” Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. But Leary did not say that such an advance would have been impossible.

During the White House briefing, Earnest suggested security challenges were a factor in not having the president travel to Paris. But Earnest acknowledged the Secret Service could have pulled it off. An agency official noted previous “last minute” presidential trips have happened during the Obama presidency, including a hurried visit to South Africa in December 2013 for the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

The White House noted that it was represented in Paris on Sunday — and has offered support to France in recent days.

U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley was in the march, as was assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. At a security summit, Holder was joined in those security meetings by deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Obama personally visited the French Embassy in Washington last week to offer his support.

Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, will visit Paris on Friday.

Kerry skipped Monday’s march because he was in India on Monday for a long-planned event there with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi — a key relationship as the United States tries to improve long-strained trade ties with the country.

Kerry brushed the criticism off as “quibbling,” saying he’ll visit Paris on his way back to the United States to make “crystal clear how passionately we feel” about the attacks and response.

“The U.S. has been deeply engaged with the people of France since this incident occurred,” Kerry told reporters, adding that the United States has offered intelligence and law enforcement help.

“This is sort of quibbling a little bit in the sense that our assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was there and marched, our ambassador was there and marched, many people from the embassy were there and marched.”

France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, sought to show there are no hard feelings, tweeting on Monday: “I am extremely grateful for the overwhelming support France has received from everybody here, from the President to the ordinary American.”

The White House’s push-back comes as Obama takes heat — particularly from Republicans considering 2016 presidential bids — for his absence.

Rick Perry tweeted that Obama “should have stood with France in person to defend Western values and show support for victims.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote for Time: “Our President should have been there, because we must never hesitate to stand with our allies.”

And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Monday that “it was a mistake not to send someone.”

Rubio said on CBS’ “This Morning” that he understands that the President’s security detail can be problem in mass gatherings like the rally, but suggested Holder or Kerry should have gone in his place.

“I think in hindsight, I would hope, that they would do it differently,” Rubio said.

Who did go

British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were among those who attended, along with religious leaders.

Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Global Public Square,” called the absence of top U.S. officials a mistake.

France is the United States’ “deepest ideological ally,” he said, and it would have been a meaningful image to have a senior administration member, or the President, standing shoulder to shoulder with other leaders.

Zakaria noted that security concerns didn’t dissuade Netanyahu or Abbas or other leaders from showing up. But Obama’s absence did show that the struggle against radical Islam is “not all about America,” Zakaria said.

“Many people have tended to think that Islamic terrorism wouldn’t exist without America,” Zakaria said. “This is really a struggle between the civilized world and a band of extremists. Even if you take the U.S. out of it … the civilized world is up in arms.”

And Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s “The Lead,” said American leaders were conspicuously absent from historic Paris rally, perhaps the most important public demonstrations in Europe in the last generation.

Tapper not only called out the President and his administration, but also prospective 2016 hopefuls from both parties, for missing the opportunity to share in the global moment.

What Obama said

Obama spoke about the Paris attacks on Friday, saying he wants the people of France to know the United States “stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow.”

The White House also announced Sunday that it will host a February 18 summit aimed at countering violent extremism.

Earnest said that event will “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney and Paris.”

He said the summit will include presentations, panel discussions and small group meetings, focused on the local, state and federal government levels.